Smile for the camera! Gone Girl and the idolizing of public image

Josh Larsen

Josh Larsen
October 7, 2014

David Fincher's Gone Girl eviscerates society's elevation of public personas, suggesting they may be the graven images of our day.

Beth Winter Loveland
October 8, 2014

Someone loaned me the book. I made a decent stab at the first, middle, and last pages and decided that it wasn't worth the anxiety I would experience reading it. But, I would say there is some nobility in Fincher's desire to stay true to the written word's original setting.
As per the image thing, I was very taken with Peggy Orenstein's (feminist author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter and contributor to the New York Times), take on the dangers of social media. She posited that it causes a, "bifurcation of the mind," pointing out that while we exist in reality, we are also constantly half-living to the third person view of our reality. If memory serves correctly (sorry the book went back to the library), the example she used was the time she realized her book-reading had been interrupted by the desire to photograph herself reading a book so that others can see how hip and intellectual she was... as evidenced by her book-reading activities.
My thought was, "Yes, Peggy, and how disgusting we have become."
If you haven't watched Frontline's documentary, "Generation Like," I would highly recommend it. It's available on the website.

Josh Larsen
TC Staff
October 8, 2014

"Bifurcation of the mind." Love that, Beth. Thanks for sharing.

October 8, 2014

In the first chapter of The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis talks of making "Men Without Chests", people who attain some prominence - in his essay he addressed intellectualism - at the expense of their humanity. They get big heads (representing intellectual achievements) but their chests (the part that makes them humans of substance) atrophy.

It sounds like the couple in Gone Girl has the same condition. The chest of their marriage atrophied over the years as they developed the image of who they wanted people to think they were.

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